MOUNTAIN IRON (AP) -- United Steelworkers of America union members approved a company-union agreement that will prevent the layoff of up to 140 Steelworkers at Minntac Mine through the end of the year.
U.S. Steel officials announced Thursday the idling of one of Minntac's agglomerating lines until Dec. 31. The line accounts for 12 percent of Minntac's pellet production.
Minntac officials said an increasing number of cheap steel imports that undercut domestic steel necessitated the shutdown.
On Thursday, company officials said up to 140 of Minntac's 1,400 hourly workers faced layoff. But steelworkers agreed on Monday to reduced overtime and to perform repairs on an idled production line to stay at work.
Gerry Castagneri, president of United Steelworkers of America Local 1938 in Virginia, said the agreement ends Dec. 31 "because after that nobody can predict the future."
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